‘Tsujiura Senbei’ – Fortune cookies? And the mystery behind their real origin.

Tuesday 22nd, March 2016 / 20:08 Written by
‘Tsujiura Senbei’ – Fortune cookies? And the mystery behind their real origin.

When we think of fortune cookies we immediately think of Chinese take away. But is that the true origin of the cookies? Fortune cookies are normally a cookie with a piece of paper inside that tells your fortune. Nowadays it is generally known as a Chinese thing, more popular in America than Europe and the cookie is served at the end of a meal normally in gratitude. Funny that they do not exist in China.

 

However the first cookie with a fortune note inside dates back to the 19th Century in Kyoto, Japan. These were in fact a little larger than the Chinese fortune cookies. They are made with darker dough that contains sesame and also miso. The fortune note is placed in the bend of the cookie as opposed to being inside its hollow center. These are called ‘Tsujiura Senbei’, they are still sold in regions such as Kanazawa, Ishikawa and certain neighborhoods in Kyoto.

 

Even recently there have been disputes in America as to who was the first person to introduce the fortune cookies to the states. Until WW2 the Japanese were known for the cookies but during WW2 the Japanese were all placed in camps as America was at war with Japan. This gave the Chinese an opportunity to take over the fortune cookie race.

 

Regardless of who or where it was first created, we can all agree they are fun, if you find yourself in a traditional sweet hours in Kyoto see if you can get yourself a fresh ‘Tsujiura Senbei’.

 

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